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29 Dec 12 Video: Hands-on With Nexus 4, Miracast and the Netgear PTV3000


nexus 4 miracast netgear ptv3000

Miracast technology, one of the lesser talked about features of the Nexus 4, hasn’t had much play over the last month or two as adapters and TVs with the capabilities have yet to really reach the mainstream. There are a couple though, one of which happens to be the Netgear Push2TV PTV3000, which can be found at a variety of tech retailers. I picked one up yesterday, updated the firmware on it, and decided to take Miracast for a spin so that the DL community can see what it’s all about. 

What is Miracast? It’s a technology created by the Wi-Fi Alliance to give users the ability to share content between screens over WiFi. Most of you know this as mirroring, something that can already be done over a hardwired connection in a variety of HDMI docks. The beauty of this, obviously, is that you don’t need wires. You simply need Miracast built-in, a WiFi connection, and a TV, monitor or smartphone.

Is the Netgear PTV3000 worth buying? It’s about $60 at Best Buy, but you should be aware that the firmware out of the box does not actually allow you to use Miracast. The device is simply Miracast-ready, but needs a firmware update to allow that functionality. At this time, there are a couple of beta firmwares in the wild that give it Miracast, however, most are buggy and have their share of issues. If you like to be on the bleeding edge of technology, though, feel free to pick one up to tinker with. (There are instructions down below for updating your Netgear to some of the beta firmwares.)

Ready to see it in action?

YouTube Preview Image

So as you can see from the video, it’s a neat technology, but until we get official firmware on devices like the Netgear PTV3000, it has some issues. In a way, it reminds me of NFC, in that it’s a fabulous idea that needs industry-wide adoption in order to be fabulous.

*Note – I’m told that this works with the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 and AllShare Cast, however, I had issues trying to connect my Note 2. There are apparently other firmwares out there that work better depending on the device.

To turn on Wireless Display (Miracast):

1.  Open SettingsDisplay on your Nexus 4.
2.  Scroll to the bottom to find “Wireless display” and tap on it.
3.  Toggle to “On.”
4.  Search for Miracast-ready devices.

Netgear PTV3000 Firmware Instructions:

1.  Download one of the newer firmwares to your computer:

2.2.2 | 2.1.5 | 2.1.4

2.  Plug-in your PTV3000 to a power source.
3.  Push the WPS button on the side of the unit for more than 5 seconds.
4.  On your computer, open your WiFi network manager and connect to “Push2TV.”
5.  Open a browser and navigate to – http://192.168.3.1
6.  This is the firmware update page, so follow the instructions.
7.  Browse for the new firmware that you downloaded above, and upload it.


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Article source: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/28/video-hands-on-with-nexus-4-miracast-and-the-netgear-ptv3000/

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23 Dec 12 Best Buy Dropping Galaxy Note II to $250 for Four Days This Week


Best Buy Dropping Galaxy Note II to $250 for Four Days This Week

by | December 23, 2012
3 Comments

If you’ve had your eye on picking up a Galaxy Note II, you may want to head to Best Buy the day after Christmas.

A source at Best Buy – who has a long standing track record with TechnoBuffalo – has provided us with the sale image you see in this post. From Dec. 26 to Dec. 29 you will be able to pick up the Galaxy Note II for $249.99 with a two-year activation, a $50 saving off of the usual price.

We loved the Galaxy Note II when we reviewed it, and it’s still a favorite around the office. At this price, you’d be hard pressed to say ‘no’ to it if you have been the least bit tempted by this device.

Join the discussion

Article source: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2012/12/23/best-buy-galaxy-note-ii-sale/

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16 Dec 12 Galaxy S III Drops to $50 at Best Buy for Today Only


Galaxy S III Drops to $50 at Best Buy for Today Only

by | December 16, 2012
3 Comments

If you’re in the market for a Galaxy S III, then Best Buy is where you want to be heading as the flagship device is down to an amazing $50 today.

As we noted exclusively the other day, Best Buy is marking the Galaxy S III down to $50 across all four major U.S. carriers today. This is a crazy deal on one of the best phones currently on the market, and if you’ve been on the fence, you no longer have a reason to be.

This sale is good for today only, and the official ad notes that quantities are limited, and there will be no rainchecks, so you’re not going to want to wait to head down and pick this up.

Join the discussion

Article source: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2012/12/16/galaxy-s-iii-best-buy-sale/

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16 Dec 12 Samsung Galaxy S III to be available for $49.99 from Best Buy on December 16


Samsung Galaxy S III Marble White

Best Buy has been the source of several Samsung Galaxy S III sales in the past, and this weekend the retailer is planning to kick off yet another promotion. On Sunday, December 16, Best Buy will be offering the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S III for $49.99 with a two-year contract on ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. The deal will be available at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide and will only be good on December 16.

The Samsung Galaxy S III began hitting U.S. carriers this past summer and features a spec sheet that includes a 4.8-inch 1280×720 HD Super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.9-megapixel front-facing shooter and a microSD slot for added storage. These four carrier models were all recently updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which includes Google Now and its information cards as well as Project Butter for a smoother experience throughout the OS.

All of those features make the Galaxy S III (which is still in the top five of both the People’s Choice and Editor’s Choice lists in PhoneDog’s Official Smartphone Rankings) a worthwhile consideration for anyone in the market for a new smartphone, especially at Best Buy’s promotional $49.99 price. If you’re thinking about taking advantage of this offer tomorrow, give us a shout in the comments below!

 

One Day Special: Best Buy Offers Samsung Galaxy S® III for $49 on Sunday, Dec. 16

Best Buy will be bringing back a popular Black Friday offer to consumers for one day – this Sunday, Dec. 16 – when Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide reduce the price of the Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB model to $49.99.

For this one day, customers will be able to save $150 with a two-year activation on Sprint, Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile and stay connected with what is arguably one of the hottest Android™ smartphones on the market.

The Samsung Galaxy S III features Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED™ touchscreen display, Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 1.5 GHz dual core CPU and 2GB of internal RAM. Customers can choose between two popular colors – Pebble Blue and Marble White (additional colors available online).

Best Buy offers consumers the ability to compare and choose between any carrier, any phone and any plan with lots of unbiased advice at all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. In addition, Best Buy offers an array of services aimed at improving customers’ experience, including Walk Out Working, Upgrade Checker, Happy 24, and a full assortment of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their new mobile devices.

Article source: http://www.phonedog.com/2012/12/15/galaxy-s-iii-for-50-at-best-buy/

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07 Jun 12 Samsung Galaxy S3 to ship soon on all 4 big US carriers


The Galaxy S III is soon to land in our solar system — the American part of it, that is.

(Credit:
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

Samsung’s Galaxy S III
Android 4.0 phone is generating so much buzz, you could almost forget the Olympics are being held this summer.

U.S. fans of the Galaxy S series have been closer to the back of the line this go-round, as the flagship Android phone is rolling out elsewhere across the globe while we twiddle our thumbs over elder-generation smartphones. Finally, the picture is becoming a little less cloudy as to when the S III will finally land stateside.

We already know that T-Mobile and Sprint will start selling the thin taste of Ice Cream Sandwich on June 21, but now it appears that ATT is telling customers who preorder the Galaxy S III that they can expect it to ship on June 18, according to droidmatters.

As for Big Red, Droid Life says Verizon customers who preorder are seeing messages that the phone will ship by July 9th, but there’s also evidence from Best Buy that it could be as soon as June 28.

There could be another bit of good news for current Verizon subscribers who are on one of those grandfathered unlimited data plans. Folks who preorder the Galaxy S III are being given the option to port that unlimited data plan over to the new phone without any hassle. Verizon had previously said it would begin moving off those unlimited plans as it updated to 4G plans, but it seems that may not always be the case, especially when you’re trying to push a cherry phone like the Galaxy S III. Sprint will also be offering an unlimited data option for the GS3.

Then again, these are the carriers we’re talking about, and the sweetest deals can sour pretty quickly. In fact, there’s one pretty big wild card out there right now threatening to keep our galaxies and the Galaxy S III from colliding — Apple has requested an injunction that would keep the Samsung phone from hitting U.S. shelves, claiming it infringes on two of Apple’s patents.

Sigh.

(Via Boy Genius Report)

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57448488-1/samsung-galaxy-s3-to-ship-soon-on-all-4-big-u.s-carriers/

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07 Jun 12 At Best Buy, Lumia Is Selling OK but More Slowly Than Android


Nokia and ATT have aggressively promoted the new Lumia 900 smartphone with a big marketing campaign, but at Best Buy, Lumia sales still pale in comparison to the hottest Android phones, a company executive says.

Scott Anderson, vice president of Best Buy’s mobile group, said in a phone interview that the Lumia 900 was a “very decent seller.” He said, however, that it hadn’t sold nearly as well as Android phones like HTC’s Evo 4G LTE on Sprint or the new Samsung Galaxy S III, which will be available for all four major United States carriers.

The Lumia 900 features Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s mobile operating system, which is less well known than Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Mr. Anderson said  he thought a lot of customers were waiting for the release of Windows Phone 8, the next version of the Windows mobile software.

Best Buy, the nation’s biggest electronics chain, is in the unique position of selling flagship handsets for each cellular network — unlike the carriers, whose stores offer only phones that work on their own networks.

Mr. Anderson said he could not disclose specific sales numbers, but he said presales for the Galaxy S III, due out this month, exceeded expectations, and presales for the Evo 4G LTE made it the best-selling Sprint handset at Best Buy. He called the releases of those two phones “major iconic launches” because Best Buy employees across the country had received extensive training with those products and stirred up buzz about them, and because the Galaxy S III was the first phone the store has sold that is coming out on all four big American carriers.

Some recent statistics have shown that Android sales are slowing compared to years past, in part because the iPhone became available on multiple American carriers last year.  Mr. Anderson said he saw no such trend at Best Buy.  “We’re not seeing the decline in Android that I also read about online,” he said. “We continue to have a lot of great successes with the Android launches.”

The sales performance of the Lumia 900 is important for Nokia, as it could determine the struggling handset maker’s fate in the phone business. The company’s share of the phone market has been declining rapidly as Apple and the manufacturers of Android phones have dominated smartphone sales. In April, Samsung dethroned Nokia as the world’s No. 1 maker of mobile phones. Incidentally, Standard Poor’s downgraded Nokia’s bonds to junk status, because sales of its older phones had fallen so significantly.

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/best-buy-nokia-lumia-900/

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06 Jun 12 New Google Chrome Aims at Windows 8


The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.

Google just released a new version of its Chrome operating system with fancy tweaks to online computing services like word processing and video — all designed to make it faster, more functional and easier to use.

It’s an open question whether the changes are enough to make Chrome, which is also the name of Google’s browser, more than a marginal player, but the system is impressive, and designed to work seamlessly with Google products like Android phones and the (still-underwhelming) Google Plus social network. It is also clearly pointed at Microsoft, just as Microsoft is preparing to introduce Windows 8, one of the biggest changes to its operating system ever.

The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks that require an Internet connection to obtain access to most applications.

“People participate in ecosystems,” said Sundar Pichai, who is in charge of the Chrome project at Google. “If you are a Chrome browser user, an Android user and a Gmail user, a Chromebook is a more natural experience than a Windows 8.”

Most of Google’s changes will be available to people already using computers running Chrome, since Google can change things online. Some, like hardware-accelerated graphics for faster scrolling, or a better trackpad on the Chrome laptop, require a new machine. The first of these, from Samsung, has also just been announced. It is about the size and weight of a MacBook Air, and starts at $449.

The Air starts at $999, but is a well-regarded and powerful machine that does not require you to be online to use it. Google is making more strides in that direction. In about two more weeks, Mr. Pichai said, you will be able to write offline in Google Docs, or Drive, as it is now called.

“We really wanted to show how productive you could be with this device,” Mr. Pichai said. “By default you will be able to get the last 100 documents you were working on. When you go back online, it will resynch with your files and update everything.” You can also “pin” certain documents, no matter how old, so they are always available.

It is also possible to open and work on anything from Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, without converting it to the Google version of those products.

In order to inspire software developers with what the graphics can do, there is a special hidden feature: press the control, alt and shift buttons together, then the refresh button, and the screen spins, even while playing a video.

There is also a new Samsung desktop, the Chromebox, starting at $329, that could be attractive to schools and businesses looking to provide a lot of people the same kind of machine.

The prices of both new Samsung devices undercut even most low-end tablet and desktop machines.

Previously the desktops and laptops were only sold online, but next month they will also be offered at some Best Buy stores. That could be a big shot in the arm for a machine that has probably sold in the tens of thousands.

Acer also makes Chromebooks, but does yet have machines with the new hardware. Mr. Pichai said other manufacturers, which he did not mention, would be selling their versions of the machine in time for the Christmas season.

Another new Chrome feature, still in beta, enables customers to get access to their PCs and Mac computers remotely. The screen of the remote computer appears on the Chrome machine, and the distant computer can be manipulated from Chrome. The other computer has to be on, though it can be in screensaver mode.

“Companies are excited about Chromebooks, but have legacy applications they want to keep,” Mr. Pichai said. “Now, if you have a legacy Oracle expense app, you can put it somewhere and have it accessible on Chrome.”

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/new-google-chrome-aims-at-windows-8/

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05 Jun 12 Chrome OS Faces Obstacles in Merging with Android


Over the course of the last several months there have been whispers, some subtle, some not so much, regarding a merger of Android and Chrome, both of the powerhouse Google franchise.  Sundar Pichai, the Senior Vice President at Chrome, has admitted as much, telling CNET  “that his product and that other Google operating system, Android, may some day merge.” Yet, there are many things that would need to happen before a merger could successfully occur.

But, it does look to slowly be occurring with the addition of the Chrome browser as a member of the WebKit browser engine product last summer, and the announcement that Chrome for Android will be released in beta form in a matter of weeks.  That the Android browser finally shares enough code with the Chrome browser diminishes some of the compatibility issues between the two, making the transition more seamless.  Regardless, there are still some problems that must be overcome, outside of the failure of Google’s first attempt at the Chrome OS.

Issues with Chrome OS

Chrome, relatively speaking, is much younger than Android, which Google purchased while Chrome was built in-house.  During the introduction of the new Samsung Chromebook and Chromebox, Google’s vice president of engineering, Linus Upson, said that Google is not working on a Chrome OS tablet.

“We have our hands full in delivering a wonderful experience on desktop and laptop and the Android team have their hands full bringing a great experience on phone and tablet, but the two teams are working together even more closely” said Upson, hinting at a convergences between Chrome and Android operating systems.  Yet, melding together the tablet and the phone is not an easy prospect.  One problem, other than the newness of Chrome OS, that Google must address is the mobile/PC integration which both Apple and Microsoft had to develop two separate operating systems for.

Yet, the payoff for Google, to integrate Chrome into Android, should payoff in spades.  The Chrome browser is either the number one or two most used browser in the world, with the race between Internet Explorer and Chrome growing tighter everyday.  This deeper market integration will, eventually, make it easier for Google to bring its Chrome OS into the mainstream.

The push for mainstream Chrome OS

A lot of this discussion has occurred in the last week since the announcement of the Samsung Chromebox and Chrombook.  The Chromebook, a laptop, comes with significant drawbacks — the biggest being its need to always be online, along with what the editors at CNET call the “general limitations of the Chrome OS,” which make it difficult to recommend.  A potential customer could get a higher quality, more useful laptop for a similar, if not cheaper, price than the $449 Series 5 550 Chromebook that will be offered.

The Chromebox, which comes in at a reasonable $329, is a desktop unit that bears a close resemblance to Apple’s Mac Mini.  For users who spend a good deal of time working on Google’s Cloud, these devices are a sound investment.  Regardless, according to Stephen Shankland of CNET, the Chromebox and Chromebook are still slower than traditional PCs.

Shankland also notes that users should not write off the Chromebook or Chromebox just yet, saying, “the Web is becoming more powerful as a foundation for apps, those apps are taking advantage of the new power, and Chrome OS draws on that broad and deep movement,” and that while Google has been known to “unceremoniously dump some dud projects, Chrome OS looks to me like one of the ones in which Google is investing for the long haul.”

In a recent LA Times article it is written that Google is promoting the computers by claiming that “its line of Web-base computers will not have a ‘messy desktop’ or ‘rolling hills of green.’” The Chromebook and Chromebox are already available on Amazon, and in the coming weeks will be available at Best Buy stores across the nation.  According to Amazon’s website, the Chromebox is currently ranked second in computers and accessories, desktop and the Chromebook is ranked 19th in computer and accessories, laptops, potentially hinting to strong sales figures and a future for the Chrome OS.

In the same vein:

Article source: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2012/06/04/chrome-os-faces-obstacles-in-merging-with-android/

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29 May 12 Samsung preps two new Chromebooks as Google updates Chrome OS, Apps


IDG News Service - Samsung will launch this week two new Chrome OS-based computers, a laptop and desktop that have been designed to be significantly faster and more versatile than previous models.

Along with the new Samsung machines, Google is announcing enhancements to Chrome OS and Google Apps, including tight integration with Google Drive and the ability to edit Google Docs documents offline.

Chrome OS-based machines began shipping commercially about a year ago from Samsung and Acer. Although the machines haven’t exactly taken the PC market by storm, Google is satisfied with the progress so far.

“We’re very happy with where we are. We strongly believe in the vision we articulated last year,” said Caesar Sengupta, product management director, Chrome OS.

Referred to generically as “Chromebooks,” these machines and the Chrome OS were designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet and for online applications.

According to Sengupta, Google and its partners haven’t pushed Chromebooks aggressively, so they have been bought primarily by early adopters, whose feedback has been closely listened to.

“We’re at a point where from the user experience point of view we’re starting to be happy with it and we’re now ready to take next step in this journey,” he said.

That next step includes broadening the roster of hardware partners, as well as making the machines more widely available. The new Samsung models will be available online today in the U.S. and May 30 in the U.K., and they will be for sale also at select Best Buy stores in the U.S. in June.

At the software level, the new machines will feature what Google calls an “apps-centric user interface” that will feature, for example, a simplified app launcher, the ability to have multiple windows open for multitasking and support for screen sizes ranging from 11 inches to 30 inches.

Coming later will be a tight integration with the Google Drive cloud storage service, as well as the ability to edit Google Docs documents when the machine is offline. When available, this Google Docs offline editing feature will be available to all Google Docs users, not just people who buy these new Samsung machines.

Other new features include a new, more sophisticated media player, as well as a native photo editor and uploader, and enhanced video streaming options for YouTube, Netflix and other such sites.

Samsung’s Chromebook Series 5 550 laptop has a 12.1-inch display (1280×800), weighs 3.3 pounds and its battery lasts for six hours of continuous usage or six and a half days in standby mode. It has an Intel Celeron 867 dual-core processor running at a clock speed of 1.3GHz, 4G bytes of RAM and a built-in, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n antenna and a Gigabit Ethernet port. A 3G modem is optional.

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227554/Samsung_preps_two_new_Chromebooks_as_Google_updates_Chrome_OS_Apps?taxonomyId=66

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29 May 12 Bits Blog: New Google Chrome Aims at Windows 8


The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.

Google just released a new version of its Chrome operating system with fancy tweaks to online computing services like word processing and video — all designed to make it faster, more functional and easier to use.

It’s an open question whether the changes are enough to make Chrome, which is also the name of Google’s browser, more than a marginal player, but the system is impressive, and designed to work seamlessly with Google products like Android phones and the (still-underwhelming) Google Plus social network. It is also clearly pointed at Microsoft, just as Microsoft is preparing to introduce Windows 8, one of the biggest changes to its operating system ever.

The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks that require an Internet connection to obtain access to most applications.

“People participate in ecosystems,” said Sundar Pichai, who is in charge of the Chrome project at Google. “If you are a Chrome browser user, an Android user and a Gmail user, a Chromebook is a more natural experience than a Windows 8.”

Most of Google’s changes will be available to people already using computers running Chrome, since Google can change things online. Some, like hardware-accelerated graphics for faster scrolling, or a better trackpad on the Chrome laptop, require a new machine. The first of these, from Samsung, has also just been announced. It is about the size and weight of a MacBook Air, and starts at $449.

The Air starts at $999, but is a well-regarded and powerful machine that does not require you to be online to use it. Google is making more strides in that direction. In about two more weeks, Mr. Pichai said, you will be able to write offline in Google Docs, or Drive, as it is now called.

“We really wanted to show how productive you could be with this device,” Mr. Pichai said. “By default you will be able to get the last 100 documents you were working on. When you go back online, it will resynch with your files and update everything.” You can also “pin” certain documents, no matter how old, so they are always available.

It is also possible to open and work on anything from Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, without converting it to the Google version of those products.

In order to inspire software developers with what the graphics can do, there is a special hidden feature: press the control, alt and shift buttons together, then the refresh button, and the screen spins, even while playing a video.

There is also a new Samsung desktop, the Chromebox, starting at $329, that could be attractive to schools and businesses looking to provide a lot of people the same kind of machine.

The prices of both new Samsung devices undercut even most low-end tablet and desktop machines.

Previously the desktops and laptops were only sold online, but next month they will also be offered at some Best Buy stores. That could be a big shot in the arm for a machine that has probably sold in the tens of thousands.

Acer also makes Chromebooks, but does yet have machines with the new hardware. Mr. Pichai said other manufacturers, which he did not mention, would be selling their versions of the machine in time for the Christmas season.

Another new Chrome feature, still in beta, enables customers to get access to their PCs and Mac computers remotely. The screen of the remote computer appears on the Chrome machine, and the distant computer can be manipulated from Chrome. The other computer has to be on, though it can be in screensaver mode.

“Companies are excited about Chromebooks, but have legacy applications they want to keep,” Mr. Pichai said. “Now, if you have a legacy Oracle expense app, you can put it somewhere and have it accessible on Chrome.”

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/new-google-chrome-aims-at-windows-8/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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